helpful photography blogs

One thing that has helped me almost MORE THAN ANYTHING in learning about photography is reading other photographers' blogs, especially blog posts that give you the ins and outs of how they took the shot and practical photography tips.  I feel like I need to mention a few that have helped me, because it is all about learning from each other- first, Pioneer Woman (oh, I know... EVERYONE loves this woman- some for her cooking, or homeschooling advice, but lots for her photography stuff, too- true renaissance woman for sure).   Her blog has great tutorials on understanding concepts like exposure, composition, equipment, aperature, etc.).  She also has made free (i.e. NO CHARGE) actions for photoshop (and elements).  The first time I read the word "actions" on a photography blog, I had not a clue what it meant.  So in case anybody is in that same boat as I was, an action is a file you can download into Photoshop (or presets as they are called for Lightroom) that edits your photo in a particular way once it is applied to your image.  So you might see actions that make the image look vintage, or brighter, or more colorful, etc.  Some people like au natural editing, and others love a certain look that an action might give.  An action just simplifies the process of editing (it is a way that all these edits are put into one simple click) to get a specific look.  Another great resource for free photoshop actions is The Coffeeshop Blog .  Rita, the oh so generous woman who started the blog, shares so many free actions and give tutorials on different edits.  I love it.  Okay, so moving on beyond free actions...  I have mentioned before, but can't mention enough, how helpful Morgan Trinker's blog has been.  If you check out the posts in the "FAQ for photographers" you will find so so SO much helpful info.  I am so thankful that Morgan's philosophy is to share the love, not to keep "secrets" as to the formula for her pictures.  She makes a point to remember how much she learned from others sharing advice and tips and does the same for others.  A lot of times people can be pretty protective of their photographic knowledge, so Morgan's blog is a breath of fresh air in a sometimes stuffy field.  Another photographer in the same vein, the legendary Jasmine Star, also posts not only FAQs on her blog, but she also started making videos that answer questions people ask her about photography.  She strives to be authentic and herself, and that is one of the most encouraging things I have taken away from reading her stuff.  And her work is amazing.  She has a section of her blog devoted to FAQ for learning about photography.  I should say that there are so many other photographers I love and like to keep up with their work, but when I have a question about my settings or depth of field, I usually am able to find some good answers when I check out these blogs.  Another great web resource is ProStudio Supply on Facebook.  They post great links to articles on all things photography and photo business stuff.  Finally, when I first got interested in learning more about photography as a business, I talked with my friend Jessica Villemain and she helped me SO much.  I went to visit her in Augusta, with lots of paper and a pen to pick her brain about everything, from photography website help to different types of lenses she likes.  I shot my first wedding with her, and I feel like I owe major thanks for all the advice & help she has given me.  She is also the one that took our family pictures in November that now live on our fireplace, and I am constantly aware of how grateful I am that she shared the love with me.  That is one thing I strongly encourage someone who is interested in photography to do, that is, get together with other photographers and ask lots of questions to learn from each other.  I hope to post more info on helpful things I have learned along the way, and talk through commonly asked questions.  More to come!